APRIL 14, 1958
NEW YORK—Nikita S. Khrushchev, having announced that the Soviet Union now is ready to challenge the United States in the economic field, is now calling attention to the fact that our economy in this country is in trouble.
He has done this by proposing a meeting of trade ministers of all European countries and the U.S. next fall. If economic arrangements between the East and the West can increase trade, he reasons, perhaps they will alleviate some of the West's economic difficulties.
This is not the most diplomatic proposal that the Soviets could have made to the U.S., but we know that the Soviets are anxious to draw attention to any difficulties in countries with the free enterprise system, since they feel sure this will make people feel that the Soviet type of economy is more successful.
I often wonder, however, if one were free to ask some of the workers in the European satellite countries who have known both economic systems which one they prefer, whether they would choose the enterprise system controlled by communism.
Such a survey, the results of which would be published, would be an interesting experiment.
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I had the pleasure last week of attending a memorable dinner at which I was honored to say a few words. It was given by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in honor of Fannie Hurst.
Miss Hurst has given $360,000 in memory of her husband to equip a laboratory for the study of heart disease. Such a gift deserves recognition, of course. But the dinner was more than that.
It was a gathering of old friends, admirers and distinguished people who wanted to pay tribute to a woman of achievement -- achievement in her own profession as a novelist and a personality on the air, but above all the kind of person whom friends and even acquaintances know can be counted on to rejoice with those who are happy and to give comfort to those who are sad.
It was a great comfort to me to have a little part in the tribute to Miss Hurst. And I felt I wanted to tell my readers about it, for her autobiography will be coming out soon and I hope many people will learn to know her through her own story.